GenX: A Cautious Encouragement?

Jul 17, 2017

State officials are releasing the first results of water quality samples and an updated preliminary health assessment for concentrations of the unregulated compound GenX in finished, or treated, drinking water. Samples were analyzed at the U.S. EPA lab in Research Triangle Park, and at Test America, a lab in Colorado under contract to Chemours. The latest results mirror those from the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, with levels in the 68 to 125 parts per trillion range. Is that cause for celebration? Not so fast.

The latest levels of GenX are far below what Dr. Detlef Knappe found three years ago, when his team recorded levels at above 600 parts per trillion.

“On one hand there is cause to breathe a sigh of relief, because it looks like Chemours is starting to comply with the order to cease discharging GenX.”

Dr. Susanne Brander is a toxicologist at UNC-Wilmington.

“It’s important to remember that the original study done by North Carolina State University and the EPA, found that there were six other compounds in the water.”

Those six other compounds have shown qualities similar to GenX. These compounds are not being measured at this time.

Brander says a lot more needs to be known about those other chemicals, to understand what if any sort of health impacts they may have on humans.

“Faculty are working with the CFPUA right now here at UNCW we’re trying to get standards for those other chemicals so we can potentially analyze the water for the additional six.”

This Wednesday, July 19, WHQR will host a community forum on this topic with WWAY and the StarNews, in Brunswick County. Details here at WHQR.ORG